For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Silk, 518.782.9400, ext 224
LATHAM, March 9, 2010 — More than 300 registered nurses of the New York State Nurses Association gathered at the Capitol on Monday to protest $1 billion in healthcare cuts to the state budget.
The nurses were joined by unions and management alike, with speakers from Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center and the National Federation of Nurses, present to tell the legislature that a budget crisis cannot be allowed to escalate to an unprecedented healthcare crisis.
Nurses Association president Karen Ballard, RN, urged lawmakers to consider how the proposed cuts will severely limit access to care and endanger patient safety. “This struggle is not about our jobs, but is instead about the type of care that we are able to provide to New York’s frailest and most vulnerable citizens.”
National Federation of Nurses president Barbara Crane, RN, said nurses are trained that “everyone has the right to expect high quality care” and that the cuts “not only strike at our healthcare system but also at our core values,” affecting nurses in a very real and personal way.
Assemblyman Richard Gottfried thanked the nurses and urged them to continue their fight to educate lawmakers that “this budget deficit is not because we have been spending wildly on health care and education in this state. We do spend a lot on health care and education – that’s because we need to… and it’s smart.”
The staggering cuts include increased assessments totaling $250 million and decreases in provider reimbursements of $562 million; which ultimately translates to fewer nurses and unsafe patient care.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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